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w486.jpg (113553 bytes)1851 CALIFORNIA EXPRESS LETTER BOOK. 1851 Gregory’s Express Pocket Letter Book. Book contains fine sheets of letter paper “ designed to facilitate correspondence between cities and towns, and the mining districts in California. San Francisco imprint, Verso of cover, and back cover has descriptions, notes and locales regarding Gregory Express. An exceedingly scarce and fugitive piece of ephemera.(Ca.61); $795.


w460.jpg (150427 bytes)1855 CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH ERA LETTER. 1855 one page ALS; 10” x 8” ruled blue paper. Texas Springs, Shasta County, California. No cover, light original fold lines,  overall VG-F cond. (Ca.41)); $sold 
Dear Brother,
Long have I look for a letter from you but have not got won. So I Haven given up all hopes of ever geting any more. I have friends at Council Hills and at Placerville who promiset to remail my letters for me when I left thier and send them up here. Times is very dull here at present more so than I expected Flour is $9.50 Potatoes goe a dollar a hundred and other things in proportion(.) labor is from fifty to seventy five dollars a month and board I have won partner and won hired man to work with us and am making $600 six dollars to the man a day This is a very cold dry
winter so dry that a great many miners cant make much(.) My health is good at present and hope that these lines will find you all enjoying a similar blessing
.
So Farewell Solomon W Bush


ca040.jpg (281048 bytes)CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH LETTER. San Francisco, California, Feb 1853, one and a half page pen written ALS. 10”x8” blue ruled paper, slightly irregular along left edge, original folds, very legible.   In part relates trip from Boston to California aboard ship Samuel Appleton. (Ca.40)$300. SOLD
"San Francisco Feb 28th 1853
Aunt Crea,
As I have a little time left I will improve it to the best advantage, by scribbling these few lines to you, hoping by this means to obtain a few lines in answer for I have not heard from you yet. Bench nearby says my wife is well and sends her love. That is all very well its true but for my part I had much rather get the same information from head quarters. Tomorrow is the anniversary of my departure from Boston in the good ship Saml Appleton bound for San Francisco. It seems to me but a dream, I can hardly realize that I was cooped up on board a ship one hundred and forty days, and that I ever went around Cape Horn but so it is and when I come to think it over I find I have been through strange scenes in the short space of one year. I will tell you when I think most of my present situation it is after the business of the day is over it is when I get in my little room and wonder how I shall spend the evening (for there are no little Darlings here) and so I have to take my book and go to reading or else take my pen and write a few lines to let folks know that Charley Meyers is still in existence, and if he (page 2) Cannot have the pleasure of hearing them talk a few lines from them would be quite a treat. Do you ever hear anything of Charlote & Simon Webber if you do please remember me to them But Oh Dear I have written so many letters to say that I am all out of news and so shall have to bring this to a close. Remember me to all not forgetting my little Darlings and please write if it is but one line. Your Nephew Charles F Meyers San Francisco" Cal

 


ca063.jpg (342728 bytes)CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH LETTER. Historic early California letter with great descriptions of Oakland & San Francisco. April 14th, 1853 San Francisco. Four page ink written ALS , 8” x 10” lined blue paper. (Ca.63);$1000.
"San Francisco April 14th
1853
Dear Aunt Crea
With pleasure I hasten to answer your welcome letter of Feb 23d hoping to get another of the same kind in return. For although my list of correspondents is not small, yet I could happily find time to answer one from you every mail if you could but have seen me as I walked along the streets from the Post Office reading your letter, running carelessly into some Spanish Senorita, or stumbling head first into a lazy Chinaman or lamp post in my haste to read it through. You would have blamed yourself much in having kept so great a pleasure from me so long. But better late than never is the good old saying and I am glad to see you have adopted it. Uncle, by a few lines in your letter acknowledged the receipt of my letter of Jan 14th. I have written to him since then informing him of the safe arrival of my Father who came across the Isthmus in Jan last. Since my last I have sold out my store and am now working at my trade again. I did not make much in the three months of (page
2)  My store keeping, neither did I lose for I got my board out of the operation and my money back when I sold out which was much better than I could have done at my trade in the rainy season. There is no doubt but what I shall do well this next summer for I am now acquainted with pretty much all the principle builders in town and when I have worked for them once I am pretty sure of a second job for they seem to take quite a fancy to me. I am now getting seven dollars per day while the average wage are but six. So much for doing my best. This is a country in which if a man tries to do when he win be appreciated and well paid. But I think I have dwelt about long enough on that subject and so will jump into something else. I will give you an account of an excursion I had across the Bay to a very pretty town called Oakland and very appropriately named for it is situated in a perfect forest of dwarf oaks which are about the same size of our apple trees in Mass. Say from fifteen to twenty feet high. I hired a horse at one of the Mexican stables and after breakfast. I started off with a friend for the redwoods which were some twelve miles across the mountains where we arrived at noon (page 3) The Red Woods is the only place in the state at present to supply the Cities with boards and timber. These woods are ten miles square the trees are the largest I ever saw. I measured one as it was lying on the ground it was thirteen feet through at the butt and more than three hundred feet long. They now have three steam saw mills going night and day, the lumber is worth one hundred dollars per thousand in _an Francisco. It is about the same coulor of northern cedar and very soft and brittle used mostly for rough work. After stopping at one of the mills where I was acquainted to a diner of salt junk and Pork and Beans we started for Oakland where we arrived in time to take the boat for San Francisco and tired enough too for eight hours in the saddle in one day is no joke. As we neared the city I could not help thinking that scarce three and one half years ago it was nothing but a miserable settlement of Mexicans who lived in the most filthy and degraded manner at that time there were but half dozen Americans in the place but how different now. See what Yankee enterprise has made it. Where once were hills of drifting sand, are now beautiful level streets for the hills have all been carted down to the waters edge, thereby extending (page 4) Our city front The water formerly ebd and flowed up to Mont Gomery Street but now this street is a quarter of a mile from the wharves and where vessels came to anchor in 1849 you will now see large fire proof brick stores it is not uncommon sight to see large ships clear up high and dry among our brick buildings in the center of the city the land having been filled in around them which makes them look as though they had run out of their element in fear of being engulfed in its treacherous billows. I must say your letter gave me quite a good stock of news but I was sorry to hear that Lizzy Stevens is so dangerously ill please remember me to Uncle Stevens and family and in fact to anyone who cares a fig for me. The rainy season is not quite over yet but it will not last much longer and we may begin to expect nothing but dry weather until next October the climate agrees with me remarkably well my health never was better than at present You make up your mind never to see me in the Atlantic states again for I am resolved the Western States shall be my home in future Tell Gilbert I have not heard from him lately. Kiss little Mary for me and let me hear from you as often as possible. From Your Nep Charles F Meyers San Francisco Cal

 


ca060.jpg (429767 bytes)THE SAN FRANCISCO HERALD  1851 STEAMER EDITION. 23" x 16" 8pp complete. Friday, Dec 5, 1851. Steamer edition " For Circulation in the Atlantic States, Europe and South America". 'Steamer' editions of 1850's San Francisco papers are quite scarce in the market. Numerous articles concerning California, in particular the events in the gold fields. This particular issue has the added benefit of having the report of the meeting at Fort Laramie between the U.S. government and the several of Native American tribes, resulting in the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty.  (The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 was signed on September 17 between United States treaty commissioners and representatives of the Cheyenne, Sioux, Arapaho, Crow, Assiniboine, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara nations. The treaty sets forth traditional territorial claims of the tribes as among themselves. The Indians guaranteed safe passage for settlers on the Oregon Trail in return for promises of an annuity in the amount of fifty thousand dollars for fifty years. The Native American nations also allowed roads and forts to be built in their territories. The United States Senate ratified the treaty, adding Article 5, to adjust compensation from fifty to ten years, if the tribes accepted the changes. Acceptance from all tribes, with the exception of the Crow, was procured. Several tribes never received the commodities promised as payments. The treaty produced a brief period of peace, but it was broken by the failure of the United States to prevent the mass emigration of settlers and miners during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush into the territories of the native nations as identified). From bound volume, edge roughness along spine , o/w Fine cond. Quite scarce. (Ca. 60); $600.sold

 


 

sm025.jpg (331479 bytes)THE CALIFORNIA GOLD DIGGERS - 1849 SHEET MUSIC. 13 1/2" x 10 1/2" Nathan Barker, Copyright 1849. 5 pp complete. From bound volume, exhibits light remnants from spine, a bit of spotting and age toning, overall VG+. (Sm.25); $125.


sm030.JPG (507098 bytes)THE MINERS QUICK STEP - 1849 SHEET MUSIC. 13 1/2" x 10 1/2" From Drawing Room Gems Series . Copyright 1849. 4 pp complete (2 of music). From bound volume, exhibits light remnants from spine,spine splitting a bit of spotting and age toning, overall VG+. (Sm.30); $95.


ca057.jpg (423200 bytes)PUT'S ORIGINAL CALIFORNIA SONGSTER.  San Francisco; D.E. Appleton & Co.  1868 . 64 pp. (12mo) original pictorial wrappers. Housed in a custom plexiglas fronted slipcase. Front cover states "5th Edition, 25th Thousand", though the title page states "4th Edition, 18th Thousand."   Popular California Gold Rush songster comprising lyrics to several dozen California mining songs, such as The Fools of '49; Joaquin the Horse Thief; Away Up on the Yuba; California As It Is and Was; The Lousy Miner; the Sonora Filibusters; When I Went Off to Prospect; California Bloomer; Coming Around the Horn; etc. Cover illustration depicts in three small vignettes the "arrival of a greenhorn" miner. "Much of the flavor of the gold days, as well as the era's pathos and humor, pervades these ephemeral little publications" - Wheat. Cowan (I), p. 183. Greenwood 983 & 984. Wheat 162. (Ca.57); $SOLD


ca046.jpg (655297 bytes)CALIFORNIA - SAN FRANCISCO 1854 GRAPHIC CITY COMPTROLLER'S OFFICE WARRANT. 4 3/4 x 8 1/2, San Francisco, 1854 City Treasurer payment for grading  and planking Beale Street.  Good Grapic appeal. . Some minor toning in corners, overall VG- Fine. (Ca.46); $125. 


ADAMS & CO.'s EXPRESS & BANKING HOUSE OF SAN FRANCISCO

Adams & Co.’s Express, an express and forwarding agency, opened in San Francisco in October 1849, on the east side of Montgomery Street, north of California Street,.  In 1850, this company entered the banking business.  From time to time, Adams & Co. absorbed other express companies in California and during 1851 penetrated into the more remote mining districts.  Adams & Co. was the largest and most respected express agency in San Francisco and the West until its failure on February 23, 1855.  It engaged in virtually every type of financial business, from forwarding gold to cashing checks. Unfortunately, the firm was engulfed in the financial panic caused by the alleged bankruptcy of the banking house of Page, Bacon & Company.  Although Page was solvent, the scare resulted in a run on Adams & Co. and the closing of the latter’s doors and those of all its branches in California.

Notes of exchange were essentially copies of bills done in triplicate.  Usage of any one automatically cancelled out the other two.  In Commercial law, a set of exchange refers to a single bill of lading drawn in a set of parts. Each such bill is valid only if the goods have not been delivered against any other part. Bills may be drawn in duplicate or triplicate, the first part being “first of exchange,” the second part being “second of exchange,” and so on. When one part has been paid, the other parts become void.

ex022.jpg (253308 bytes)ADAMS  & CO. Third Bill of Exchange. Unissued.  San Francisco Adams & Company Express Office.  The vignette on this exchange is among the most collectible by Adams & Co. because of the sluice box in the miners’ scene at the top center. Fine +  (Ex22)$100.  

ex020.jpg (356643 bytes)ADAMS & CO. Certificate of Deposit .1854. 4” x 8 ¾” San Francisco. Black print on white paper. This form has a miner at left and the large San Francisco Banking office vignette at top center. Some minor fold lines, overall Fine cond. (Ex20). $65.

 


ex011.jpg (345076 bytes)CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH ERA.  RHODES & CO. EXPRESS OFFICE CHECK 1854. ,
Express Office , Weaverville, Nov 15, 1854. 3” x 7 ¾” blue paper.  Upper right corner exhibits  an engraving of the California State Seal.  On the left side is a steel engraving of a mythical God sitting among clouds, overlooking a sailing ship at sea.   The check is written "Paid", in ink, in the center, face of the check  Lith. by Britton & Rey S. F. (San Francisco) Co.", in the lower left corner.   (ex11); $. 85. 

 

 


ca033.jpg (176409 bytes)SAN FRANCISCO FROM NOB HILL.  
Boudoir card, 8 1/4" x 5 /4". Id in negative " California Street From Nob Hill". Cable car in foreground. MacDonald, S.F. photographers imprint. B/r mount has crease, b/l light crease in corner, soome avg soiling and wear, overall VG+. (Ca.33); $pending

 


ca030.jpg (591787 bytes)ALBUM OF SAN FRANCISCO CAL.  42 Views.  
Copyright 1889 Ward Brothers, Columbus, Ohio. Pub. by the Bancroft Co. San Francisco. 5" x 6" accordion fold with 15 photo-lithograph panels, including a 2-panel panorama bird's-eye view of the city; also showing waterfronts, public buildings, parks, etc.; original embossed red cloth stamped in gilt; Fine. (Ca. 30); $150.

 

 


lf151.jpg (216057 bytes)PHOTOGRAPH – CALIFORNIA - SAN FRANCISCO – AFTERMATH 1906 EARTHQUAKE - FILLMORE STREET. Silverprint photograph,  6 x 8 . Period pen on back reads “Fillmore St. San Francisco the main thoroughfare after the fire of April 18-19-20, copyright 1906 by R.C. + CO.” Photo exhibits strong tonality and great contrast. Small tear on the bottom left edge, which has been reinforced by tape on the backside. Otherwise some light wear and soiling, overall VG-fine condition. See scan. (Lf. 151): $225. SOLD


w015.jpg (23689 bytes)STEPEHEN MASSETT. CDV.
 4 1/4" x 2 1/2"  Seated portrait. 1861 copyright, C.D. Fredricks, NY photographer's imprint. Small area of discoloration in background, o/w VG-F . Scarce California personality. (W.15); SOLD
Stephen C. Massett (1820-1898), better known as “Jeemes Pipes of Pipesville” was one of the original personalities that came in the argonaut band of 1849. He worked as an actor, composer, author and monologistan Francisco’s very first entertainment was given by Massett, who on June 22nd 1849, at the Police Office, rendered a program consisting of vocal music and recitations. The program read “ Front seats reserved for ladies!" History records that there were but four ladies present - probably the only four in the town at the time.

 


                    

ca042.jpg (703012 bytes)CALIFORNIA CHINESE/ DENNIS KEARNEY LITHOGRAPH.  
Original lithograph, oblong folio, 11" x 14", San Francisco, ca 1875. Lithograph portraying Dennis Kearney, the Sandlots Orator, in jail, six Chinese jeering him, five with the symbols of Chinese occupations in California: coolie, washerman, fisherman, honey-soil man and cigar maker. Kearney's battle cry was: "The Chinese Must Go!". which explains the caption of the lithograph "The Tables Turned, You Sabe Him?, Kealney Must Go!". Very good condition. (Ca.42); $475.


 


w607.jpg (159081 bytes)YREKA, FORT JONES AND ETNA STAGE LINE WAYBILL.  
11 x 17, 1910 waybill with list of passengers and express packages. Folds to 11” x 6”, with imprinted title on back. Some chipping and small tears along left border, overall VG. (W. 607); $85.


w517.jpg (85323 bytes)WALKER LAKE AND BODIE TOLL ROAD CO. 
Receipts for tolls . 7" x 8 1/2". Recorded are date, name of teamster, kind of vehicle, number of animals, and tolls. Sign by Walter White toll-keeper. On back is imprinted "W.L. & B. Toll Road Co. Toll Receipts for week ending July 31, 1897". Original fold lines, overall VG. (W.517); $195.
During Bodie’s early years, most of the camp's mail traveled by rail to Carson City, then by stagecoach or express wagon by way of Aurora. (The road that serves as Bodie’s Main Street was completed in 1864 as a summertime mail route from Sonora to Aurora and just happened to pass through the fledgling mining camp of Bodie.) Aurora remained the region's transportation hub even after Bodie’s 1878-79 boom. Not until 1881 was Aurora bypassed by a new wagon road called the Walker Lake & Bodie Toll Road, which passed through Del Monte Canyon to reach the town of Hawthorne, a locomotive refueling and repair stop on the new Carson & Colorado railroad.

 


The clipper ship was a very fast sailing ship of the mid 19th century. They were fast, yacht like vessels, with three masts and a square rig. Generally narrow for their length, they could carry limited bulk freight, small by later 19th century standards, and had a large total sail area. Clipper ships were mostly constructed in British and American shipyards, and sailed all over the world, but primarily on the trade routes between the United Kingdom and its colonies in the east, in trans-Atlantic trade, and the New York or Boston-to-San Francisco route round Cape Horn during the California Gold Rush.  These ships not only brought thousands of men and tons of supplies to California, but the companies that owned these ships were in a rush to get to California faster than anyone else. Of the thousands of ships that made it to San Francisco Bay, many did not make it out. They were bound together, filled in and a city was built over the top of them.  

 

ca126.jpg (507400 bytes)CALIFORNIA -  PACKET BILL OF LADING - CLIPPER SHIP ILLUSTRATION
Bill of Lading.for Good Ship Ringleader. , 7" x 9 3/4" , Glidden & Wiulliams California Packets.  Illustrated with vessel under sail .1861.  Exhibits light handling, with  fold lines,overall Fine cond.. (Ca.126); $200.
Glidden & Williams is described in Samuel Eliot Morison's "Maritime History of Massachusetts" as the most important clipper firm operating out of Boston to California .

 


ca339.jpg (493227 bytes)CALIFORNIA -  PACKET BILL OF LADING - 1853 .
 
Bill of Lading.for Good Ship Telegraph.. , 7" x 9 3/4" , Nath'l Winsor Jr Line of Packets for San Francisco.  Illustrated with company's flag. 1853  Exhibits light handling, with  fold lines,overall Fine cond.. (Ca.339); $225. .SOLD



ca001.jpg (104826 bytes)CALIFORNIA -  CALIFORNIA PACKET
Bill of Lading., 7" x 8 1/2" , Illustrated with vessel under sail . May 1866. Early Santa Barbara Imprint.  Exhibits handling, with  fold lines, and a few small edge tears, overall g-VG cond.  (Ca.01); $165. 


ca065.jpg (333467 bytes)WESTERN – CALIFORNIA  STEAM NAVIGATION CO. RECEIPT.  
Receipt for freight on Steamer T.C. Walker. 4 ½ x 8 ½, part imprinted, good graphic quality with engraving of steamer. 
The California Steam Navigation Company was a California company formed by a group of steamship captains in 1854. They competed for control of the traffic in the inland waters of the state, and in coastal traffic along the coast of California, Oregon, and British Columbia. Over the next decade, the company established a monopoly on inland water travel in California. On March 31, 1871, the California Pacific Railroad Company acquired all property of the California Steam Navigation Company. Five months later, the Central Pacific Railroad, acquired the California Pacific Railroad Company, which continued the operation of the steamboats of the former California Steam Navigation Company. 

A NY Times article in 1898 describes an incident of the T.C. Walker “ The most disastrous accident in the history of Stockton occurred to-day near Fourteen Mile Slough, when a part of one of the boilers of the river steamer T. C. Walker, which left San Francisco about 6 o'clock last night, was blown out, killing five and dangerously wounding eleven persons, while probably fifteen or twenty were more or less badly hurt. The T. C. Walker is owned by the California Navigation and Improvement Company, and ran between San Francisco and Stockton”.

Two spindle holes along top, overall Fine cond. (Ca 65); $85. SOLD

 

ca354.jpg (391247 bytes)CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH ERA STEAMBOAT BILL OF LADING.  
California, San Francisco Gold Rush steamer Bill of lading , 4 ¾ x 8,  1861 Steamer Rambler. Delivering 213 bags of Corn. Signed by E J Weeks for Sanderson(?). Printed by Towne & Bacon, printers, 503 Clay Street. The steamer Rambler was completed on June 17, 1859 and was built to run between Petaluma and San Francisco. A couple of small tack holes, overall Fine cond. (ca.354); $125.



w527.jpg (153466 bytes)QUICKSILVER MINING COMPANY, NEW ALMADEN CALIFORNIA.
 1882 Letterhead of The Quicksilver Mining Company, Mine and Works, New Almaden, California. 8 1/4" x 11", along with a 8 ½“ x 5 ½“ advertising broadside for Quicksilver. Written by James B. Randol to D. H. Jackson, At Sierra City, regarding shipment of Quicksilver. Exhibits small amount of discoloration along bottom, damage to b/r corner with accompanying small loss of paper. Broadside, which also acted as a dated quote, has a very small amount of discoloration to bottom not affecting overall appearance. VG cond. (W.527); $800.
New Almaden was the most prominent quicksilver mine under the operation of Quicksilver Mining Company in the Western Hemisphere.The mine and its villages flourished under the 20-year directorship of James Randol, who took over as general manager in 1870 when S. F. Butterworth retired. Under Randol's orderly discipline the community became a mining town unlike any other in the state, somewhat resembling a beneficent feudal society. The residents' health, wealth, cultural and social lives were taken care of by company-sponsored organizations that the progressive but authoritarian Randol set up. D.H. Jackson was the general manager of the Sierra Grande Mining Company. Though the town was originally called Daly, and changed to Lake Valley, there must have been a short period of time in the interim it was called Sierra City. 

In August, 1878, George W. Lufkin and Chris Watson discovered silver ore around the area of Lake Valley. Their discovery started a silver mining rush as prospectors settled in the area to continue the mining. Lufkin sold his claim to George Daly, and with Whitaker Wright (who came to Lake Valley in April 1881) bought or made 8 more claims away from the outcrop. They then went to New York and with George D. Roberts formed four mining companies each with four claims. The Sierra Grande Silver Mining Company of Lake Valley ran the mines for all four companies. In 1882, John Leavitt, a blacksmith, leased a claim that George Lufkin had been working. Just 40 feet away from the surface, Leavitt discovered a huge cavern lined with solid silver. This incredibly rich cavern was later named "The Bridal Chamber" because of the sparkle from its crystal encrusted walls. A settlement, first called Daly but later renamed Lake Valley, moved to its present location after this discovery. Two and a half million ounces of silver were eventually removed from the Bridal Chamber, some of it so pure it required no smelting. In fact, the silver was so easy to remove that a railroad spur was built into the chamber and silver was loaded directly onto the cars. In 1893, silver was devalued, and the prosperity Lake Valley had known took a down turn. In 1895, most of Main Street burned to the ground.


ca021.jpg (844503 bytes)CALIFORNIA IMPRINT – 1867 – EARLY BOXING – THE DOONY SONG
The Doony Song, Broadside, T. C. Boyd, San Francisco, ca 1867.  Single-sheet, approx  . 7 3/4 x 4 1/2", printed one side only. Woodcut of Dooney Harris in boxing stance . Written to celebrate the victory of Californian Tom Chandler over Dooney Harris in 1867 in the first bare-knuckle middleweight championship.  Song to the tune of When Johnny Comes Marching Seven verses, beginning: "There came a man from London Town - hurrah, hurrah!". Irregular torn along top edge, some avg light soiling and wear, overall VG+   (Ca21); $150.

 

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